Chapter 7. Components for Prototyping

The components you select define what hardware devices you can build. To add components to devices, it is important to understand how to build basic electronic circuits.

Circuits and components are the topics of this chapter. Because entire books are written about this (one important one is Paul Horowitz’s Art of Electronics [Cambridge University Press, 2015]), the material we’ll cover here focuses in particular on prototyping and experimentation on systems. The overview about electronic parts should also help you to better follow programming examples in later chapters.

If you are new to hardware, your first experiences with circuits and components can be daunting. In this case, you might want to learn with Tessel modules first. With Tessel modules, you get circuits and components that you can plug into your Tessel without the pain (or joy) of debugging an electronic setup. You can easily make your own Tessel modules once you get familiar with electronics. If you do, you can share your new module with the Tessel community, and thousands of people around the world could benefit from your work.

Wiring Circuits

Working with embedded devices requires you to gain some understanding of underlying physics and electronics. These topics can be a lot of fun, but they often require adopting a different mindset than you might use when writing software.

Compared to software, building circuits is often expensive in terms of both time and money. Unlike ...

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